The Second Stage at GG #32
“The Second Stage at GG” is a series of exhibitions presenting more recent works by former finalists in the gallery’s open competitions launched to promote budding artists in various fields. The works shown in “The Second Stage at GG” exhibitions are all created after they entered their respective fields as professional artists. The series initially featured works by finalists in the “Hitotsubo” competitions that ran from 1992 to 2008; since 2009 it has focused on finalists in the superseding “1_WALL” competitions.
The 32nd exhibition in “The Second Stage at GG” series introduces the works of Akiko Isobe, a young photographer who was a finalist in the 18th “Hitotsubo” Photography Exhibition in 2001. Today she is active primarily as a photographer involved in the fashion and music businesses. In describing the source of her artistic inspiration, she says that as a child she was often taken by her father on short trips by car at night. She recalls how, reeling from the dual effects of motion sickness and drowsiness, she always wondered whether the scenes that unfolded before her on those occasions – strange vistas floating in the ethos illuminated by the car’s headlamps – were real or imaginary. It is her lingering memories of those vistas that inspired the works she created for this exhibition.
Isobe’s is a world of night, a beautiful and yet frightening world illuminated by headlamps. Her photos tell stories set in darkness born from her imagination, like the scenes she saw as a child. The people and sights that appear in them are exaggerated in the divide between light and dark, filled with a somewhat overstated but bewitching sense of elation. Her imagination embraces not only scenes along the driven path; it also expands into the buildings inadvertently illuminated by the headlamps. In a daydream-like light, her tale proceeds deeper and deeper into the night.
Isobe says one of the powers of photography is its ability to make people dream. We invite you to come to Guardian Garden to see firsthand what dreams she has had and wants to share with you.
2001 BFA Department of Imaging Arts and Sciences, Musashino Art University
2010 Shigeo Goto Prize at 1st Einstein Photo Competition
2008 Shiogama Prize at Shiogama Photo Festival
2001 Finalist, 18th “Hitotsubo” Photography Exhibition
2000 Shunji Ito Prize at Epson Color Imaging Contest
2000 Finalist, Philip Morris Art Award
2011 “Shibukaru Matsuri (Shibuya Cultural Festival) – Girls’ Culture Festival, PARCO, Tokyo
2011 “Tokyo Frontline” Art Fair, 3331 Arts Chiyoda, Tokyo
2010 “Sound of Photography”, Shibuya Seibu Art Gallery, Tokyo
2009 “100 Photographers: Love & Peace”, Japan Advertising Photographers’ Association Art Gallery, Tokyo
2003 “IN & OUT: Challenges by Photographers in their 20s”, Tokyo Metropolitan Museum of Photography, in conjunction with the Japan-Korea Joint Project for the Future